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South Bay Veteran Says Goodbye To Home After Eviction

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- A San Jose housing policy has had the unintended consequence of allowing longtime tenants in rent-controlled housing to be evicted by landlords.

Evicted veteran Paul Mayer told KPIX 5 he did not want to live to see this day.

"I'm not looking for the magic formula to keep me alive another 10 years. I just gotta deal with what life hands me from now on," said Mayer.

He got an eviction notice earlier this year, forcing him out of the rent-controlled apartment he's lived in since 1973.

At 92-years-old, saying goodbye to the only home he's known for nearly half a century has been heartbreaking.

"It's a big change that I wish I didn't have to go through," said Mayer.

KPIX 5 first met Mayer three months ago shortly after he got the eviction notice. The story reported on how the owner, Peggy DeMaio and her family, have been buying multiple apartment buildings in San Jose and evicting rent-controlled tenants.

The DeMaios move in homeless veterans and the VA pays their rent at market rate.

As the story gained traction, the San Jose City Council finally revamped its laws to clamp down on so-called "no-cause evictions" where good tenants are booted out with little notice.

However, KPIX 5 has learned about two more properties connected to the DeMaios, this time in Santa Clara.

They are still at it evicting longtime tenants and moving in homeless veterans.

The VA did not respond an interview request Monday, but earlier this year told KPIX 5 they couldn't do much to stop the practice, which is completely legal.

"Ultimately, the goal is to house veterans. We just never want to house veterans in way that causes someone else to be homeless. That's never going to be our goal," said Damian McGee with the Veterans Affairs Department.

As for the Mayer family, they have vowed to fight on.

"We're watching what goes on everywhere now. We don't want this to happen to other people," said Robert Mayer, Paul's son.

"It's important to me that nobody, nobody, ever has to deal with what my dad's doing," said Paul's daughter Anne Sherman.

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